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24 Essex County News Stories You Missed This Week

by The Montclair Girl Team
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Every week, we gather the highlights you missed in the news this week in Montclair, Bloomfield, + beyond. Among the local headlines: a leather-bound witchcraft journal was stolen from White Rabbit Black Heart; Caldwell Public Library made the 10 Most Endangered Historic Places list; a new gym has opened up in West Orange; and so much more. Keep reading for all the news you missed this week in Essex County + beyond.

AAPI Montclair Co-Founder Among Inaugural Members of New State Commission


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Amber Reed, co-founder and president of AAPI Montclair, was recently named as one of the 27 inaugural members of the New Jersey Asian American and Pacific Islander Commission, per Patch. This group will serve as advocates for one of the largest populations of AAPI residents in the United States.

Newark’s Fourth Precinct to Become Community Hub in Remembrance of 1967 Riots


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The old Fourth Precinct in Newark is slated to become a community hub in remembrance of the 1967 riots, according to Jersey Digs. The project, designed by local architecture firm Gensler in collaboration with NJIT students, will create an exhibition space as well as the headquarters for the Center for Violence Prevention and Trauma Recovery.

Bloomfield’s APEM Creamery to Celebrate Asia Week with New Flavors

apem creamery bloomfield

To celebrate Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month, APEM Creamery is serving up new Asian-inspired flavors. Asia Week offers a cornucopia of flavors inspired by different parts of the continent, including Vietnamese Iced Coffee, Silk Road, Mango Lassi, Matcha Gelato, Matcha Custard, Lychee Lemonade, Lychee Coconut, Red Bean, Buko Pandan, Thai Iced Tea, and Polvoron. APEM Creamery is located at 870 Broad Street in Bloomfield.

21 Montclair Students Receive NJ Seal of Biliteracy Award

montclair rabbi pandemic award

21 Seniors at Montclair High School have been awarded the NJ Seal of Biliteracy Award, according to Patch. The school district shared that 13 seals were earned earned in Spanish, five in French, one in German, one in Hebrew, and one in Latin. The Seal is a nationally recognized credential that attests to each recipient’s unwavering dedication to proficiency and global citizenship.

Petition Calls for Montclair Town Council to Live Stream Meetings

montclair school remote

A petition started circulating on Tuesday, May 17th, calling for the Montclair Town Council to make council meetings virtually accessible to the community, per Baristanet. The petition, written by Eileen Birmingham and Courtney Redfer, also calls for the ability to submit remote comments during council meetings.

The Montclair Girl Launches Real Estate Directory

Looking for a place to call home in the Montclair and the greater North Jersey area is no easy feat – even if you know it won’t be your home forever. Meet our new Real Estate Directory, a curated (and ever-growing) list of real estate buildings in the greater North Jersey area. Click here to discover these local real estate properties, compare and connect for tours, and keep checking back in for new listings.

New Gym ‘Drop Fitness’ Featuring Four Studios in One Coming to Montvale

Drop Fitness is opening in Montvale, and it’s bringing four studios from New York City  — as well as additional luxury amenities that are hard to come by — into one massive gym space in Bergen County. Located at 2 Chestnut Ridge Road, Drop Fitness has something for everyone — even the little ones. Click here to read about the opening of Drop Fitness in Montvale.

Stretch Recovery Lounge to Open in Montclair

Stretch Recovery Lounge — an assisted stretching and athletic recovery facility  — is opening up in Montclair at 130 Valley Road, which was previously NJ Fitness Factory. The business’ Facebook page made the announcement of the new location on May 16th. This will be Stretch Recovery’s fourth location, with the other establishments located in Ridgewood, Tenafly, and Westfield. The opening date is set for June 4th of this year. Click here for what we know about Stretch Recovery Lounge’s move to Montclair.

New Jersey’s Baby Formula Shortage: Resources for Parents

formula shortage new jersey

The US  is experiencing an unprecedented baby formula shortage, and parents everywhere are facing a living nightmare as they struggle to find formula to feed their children. The shortage of this essential product is a result of a complicated perfect storm for which no one seems to have a clear solution — and New Jersey has been one of the states that were hit the hardest. We know how terrifying this must be for so many New Jersey parents, so we’ve covered the causes behind this formula shortage as well as gathered some resources for worried parents. Click here to read more on what caused the formula shortage, how long it’s expected to last, and what you can do as a parent to find help locally in New Jersey.

Bryan Cranston + Aaron Paul Signed Mezcal Bottles in Glen Rock


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Fans were lined up for hours in Glen Rock on the morning of May 17th to get their mezcal bottle signed by Breaking Bad stars Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul. The two actors made an appearance at the Glen Rock Bottle King to promote their Mezcal called Dos Hombres. Click here for what we know about Dos Hombres, the star-studded men behind it, and their appearance in Glen Rock.

SOPAC Receives $5K Grant for Arts Education Program


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The South Orange Performing Arts Center recently received a $5,000 grant from the Investors Foundation, per Tap Into. This grant will be used to help further SOPAC’s Arts Education Programs. The three main components of SOPAC’s Arts Education Programs are the Dance residency, the Music Residency, and the School Performance Series.

10-Year-Old Girl Raises $5K for 4-Year-Old Battling Brain Cancer


10-year-old Peyton Cohen has raised thousands of dollars for Natalie Ferguson through a lemonade fundraiser, reported Tap Into. Ferguson is a 4-year-old battling brain cancer. Cohen was able to raise $5,000 in cash in a single day with more money going directly to her Venmo account.

The YMCA of Montclair to Provide Safety Around Water Course

YMCA of Montclair

The YMCA of Montclair will offer a Safety Around Water course to help reduce drowning rates, per Baristanet. The program will be for children ages 6-14 and it will run from May 23rd through May 27th. The Safety Around Water Program is being funded by grants from the Stew Leonard III Water Safety Foundation and the YMCA of the USA’s Strategic Initiatives.

HABs (Harmful Algal Blooms) Could Affect Essex County Drinking Water

water delivery services new jersey

Harmful Algal Blooms in lakes and ponds can also pose a threat to drinking water reservoirs. According to this press release from Montclair State University, Meiyin Wu — the director of the New Jersey Center for Water Science and Technology — explains how one can test their drinking water. You can file a report for your water source to be tested if you are suspicious of it possessing HAB.

Montclair School District Issues 83 Non-Renewal Letters

montclair news schools

The Montclair School District has issued 83 non-renewal letters to district staff. According to Montclair Local, 48 paraprofessionals and 35 teachers were issued the non-renewal letters. These cuts are the result of the district making up a $3 million deficit in the 2022-23 budget. Originally, only 26 letters were supposed to be issued to teachers, and it is still unclear as to why there was an increase.

Caldwell Public Library Makes 10 Most Endangered Historic Places List

bloomfield library

Caldwell Public Library is on the list that Preservation New Jersey released for the 10 Most Endangered Historic Places in the state, per Baristanet. Within the list, the library is described as a “1917 Classical Revival Carnegie library… It is one of four Carnegie libraries in Essex County still in its original building.” This list spotlights irreplaceable historic, architectural, cultural, and archeological resources in the state that are in danger of being lost.

Witchcraft Journal Stolen at White Rabbit Black Heart in Montclair

A leather-bound witchcraft journal was stolen from White Rabbit Black Heart on Friday, per Montclair Local. The journal was stolen while an employee was assisting another customer. The person who allegedly stole the journal has been described as a 17- to 20-year-old individual with straight dark hair. White Rabbit Black Heart is located at 219 Glenridge Avenue in Montclair.

Listen to Radio Free Montclair Through Local App


You will soon be able to listen to Radio Free Montclair through the free Montclair Local app starting on Friday, May 20th, per Montclair Local. To listen, you can install the free Montclair Local app on your iOS or Android Smartphone. The app will also be able to send push notifications to turn the show on every weekend.

SOPAC to Hold Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony for Reopening


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The South Orange Performing Arts Center and many others will be a part of a ribbon-cutting ceremony, per a press release. The ribbon-cutting ceremony — held on Wednesday, May 25th, from 12-1PM — is to celebrate the completion of Hurricane Ida renovations. Once the ribbon-cutting ceremony is completed, you can take a self-guided tour of the refurbished Jennifer & Tony Leitner Performance Hall, The Herb + Milly Iris Gallery, and the lobbies.

Montclair Rotary Club Continues The Dictionary Project

montclair school

The Montclair Rotary Club continues to do The Dictionary Project, per Tap Into. This winter and spring, the project was able to deliver a total of 1,401 dictionaries to students in third and fourth grade in Montclair and Verona. The Dictionary Project started in 2004, and since that time, more than 15,500 student dictionaries have been donated.

New Gym Opens in West Orange


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A new gym has opened up in West Orange, per Essex News Daily. BELLSFIT60 Gym opened at 270 Pleasant Valley Way on May 12th. A brief ribbon-cutting ceremony was held with the attendance of the Council President Susan McCartney, Councilwomen Cindy Matute-Brown, and Tammy Williams, as well as family members and friends.

NJ-11 Fourth Annual Congressional Art Competition Winners Announced

award jersey city

Rep. Mikie Sherrill announced the winners of her fourth annual Congressional Art Competition for high school students, per Patch. This art competition is put on for high school students who live in New Jersey’s 11th District. The winners were announced at an in-person reception at Montclair State University.

Montclair Public Library Art Gallery to Show Work of Ukrainian Artists

Montclair Public Library

Montclair Public Library will feature in the Art Gallery the work of four Ukrainian artists-activists living in the US, per Baristanet. The show will be called Ukrainian Roots: Art by the Diaspora, and it will be on display from June 1st-30th. All of the work will be on sale.

New Film Studio Coming to Newark

montclair film beth gottung

Great Point Studios has announced a partnership with the New Jersey Performing Arts Center to build a new production studio called Lionsgate Studio Newark, per Jersey Digs. Lionsgate will be receiving naming rights under the announced deal. This would be a $125 million investment coming to Newark’s South Ward.

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